BY:  Nathaniel Handy

The Bottom Line: Kemalism Just Won’t Win

Observers question how Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, won re-election amid Western media's portrayal of corruption.

Turkish election turnout surpasses Western democracies, contrasting with dismal turnouts in regional dictatorships lacking genuine choices.

Media frames Turkish elections as dictator vs. democrat narrative, Kilicdaroglu portrayed as humble challenger to Erdogan.

Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition party for 13 years, consistently lost to Erdogan despite being a consensus candidate.

Media's portrayal of Erdogan as a dictator overlooks his genuine rise from humble origins, working-class roots, and religious sincerity.

Erdogan's enduring appeal stems from representing a historically disenfranchised constituency, despite populist undertones.

Erdogan's mission: Restore dignity to marginalized Turkish class long scorned by elites since Ottoman Empire's westernizing reforms.

Pre-Erdogan era barred headscarf-wearing women from education and public sector jobs, contrasting with Western states' tolerance.